18 Christmas Cookie Recipes from Around the World

box of tropical fruit biscotti and vanilla sugar cookiesAlpha Smoot
Photo: Alpha Smoot

From Russian tea cakes to Greek butter cookies, enjoy these global sweets throughout the holiday season.

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box of tropical fruit biscotti and vanilla sugar cookies
Alpha Smoot

There's no better way to celebrate the holiday season than with Christmas cookies from around the world. From the Italian-inspired Tropical Fruit Biscotti that are pictured here to Martha's Kolaches, an homage to our founder's Polish roots, our recipes are a guaranteed way to add sweetness to the season.

Make one of Martha's favorite recipes this year—her recipe for Kolaches, a traditional jam-filled cookie that hails from Poland. Active dry yeast not only helps the cookies to rise, but it also gives them a warm wheat flavor that is absolutely delicious. Australians enjoy a spiced ginger cookie that is soft, chewy, and super flavorful, and in Finland, they take a bite out of Star Cookies (Joulutorttu), which are jam-filled cookies that resemble windmills and are topped with a sweet sugar glaze.

Italian Christmas cookies are some of the best—and are even stateside staples. If you know and love rainbow cookies, the raspberry and almond tiered confection, then our Hazelnut Tri-Color Cookies are sure to be a winner. They're made with finely ground toasted hazelnuts and hazelnut liqueur, which add lots of nutty flavor to these colorful classics. Of course, it's not Christmas time without lots of crunchy biscotti cookies. Try our Tropical Fruit Biscotti or our Hazelnut and Apricot Biscotti—both are loaded with dried fruit and nuts.

From all-American classics like Russian Tea Cakes to Italian-inspired pizzelles and Sicilian Fig Cookies, these Christmas cookie recipes will take you on a trip around the world (all from the comfort of your home!).

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Alfajores de Dulce de Leche

Bryan Gardner

Popular throughout Latin America, these sparkling sandwich cookies are filled with our Easy Dulce de Leche, which is creamy and caramelized. The four-ingredient cookie dough couldn't be easier, either.

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Hazelnut Tri-Color Cookies

hazelnut tri-color cookies
Alpha Smoot

Italian rainbow cookies are a staple during the holiday season. Enjoy this twist—hazelnuts and hazelnut liqueur are used in place of the usual almond flavoring.

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Russian Tea Cakes

russian tea cakes
Bryan Gardner

These Christmas cookies, which actually originated in England, are popular in the United States. A combination of all-purpose flour, almond flour, and confectioners' sugar are used as the base for these sweet powdery bites.

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German Spice Cookies (Pfeffernusse)

pfeffernusse cookies
Mike Krautter

Warm and peppery in flavor, and soft in texture, these glazed cookies get their spice from a combination of cinnamon, allspice, cloves, nutmeg, molasses, and freshly ground pepper.

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Greek Butter Cookies (Kourabiedes)

kourabiedes cookies
Mike Krautter

These Greek shortbread biscuits have a melt-in-your-mouth flavor and get their bright flavor from honey and lemon zest.

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Martha's Kolaches

kolache cookies
Mike Krautter

Our founder embraces her Polish roots with her recipe for this traditional yeasted Christmas cookies. This version is filled with fruit jam and topped with a sweet glaze.

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Spiced Orange Palmiers

Aaron Dyer

The epitome of sugar, spice, and everything nice, these French-inspired cookies made with store-bought puff pastry are delicious. Grated orange zest adds a pop of citrus flavor alongside the traditional cinnamon-sugar blend.

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Hazelnut and Apricot Biscotti

Adrian Mueller

Take a bite out of these slightly crunchy, slightly chewy, and all-around delicious Italian biscotti.

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Pistachio Spritz Pinwheels


Spritz cookies, which originated in Scandinavian countries but are widely embraced stateside, are a Christmastime essential. And the green color from food coloring is totally apt for the season, reflecting the ground pistachios that are mixed in the dough.

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Sable Cookies


Picture the sweetest, most buttery shortbread cookie ever—that's these French sable cookies. All you need to make them are a few baking basics—butter, eggs, flour, sugar, and vanilla extract.

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Anise Pizzelle

anise pizzelle cookies
Mike Krautter

Any Italian (or Italian-American) knows just how essential—and how delicious—these wafer-like cookies are during the holiday season. This recipe gets bonus flavor from anise seeds and anise extract.

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Sicilian Fig Cookies (Buccellati)

buccellati cookies
Mike Krautter

Think of these as an elevated version of the grocery store fig cookie. Our homemade filling—dried Black Mission figs, raisins, honey, brandy, and spices—make this Sicilian staple extra-special.

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Australian Ginger Cookies

ginger nut biscuits
Mike Krautter

These Australian Christmas cookies are spicier and more flavorful than the usual gingersnaps thanks to freshly ground black pepper, nutmeg, grated ginger, crystallized ginger, and golden syrup.

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Finnish Star Cookies (Joulutorttu)

finnish cream cheese stars cookies
Mike Krautter

How pretty are these windmill-shaped cookies that originated in Finland? We swapped in cream cheese instead of the usual ricotta for a slightly tangy, soft and sweet pastry.

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Genoese Nut Diamonds

Genoese nut diamonds
Johnny Miller

Frangelico—a hazelnut liqueur—works in tandem with blanched hazelnuts and almonds to bring lots of nutty flavor to these Italian Christmas cookies.

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Cinnamon Stars (Zimtsterne)

Johnny Miller

Originally from Germany, these gluten-free, almond-based cookies are beloved by the Royal family. And for good reason: The duo of ground cinnamon and grated lemon zest is absolutely delightful.

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Yossy Arefi

Talk about a showstopper! Hailing from Norway, gluten-free almond wreath cookies are stacked on top of each other with Royal Icing for a Christmas cookie arrangement that doubles as a centerpiece.

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